By Rashid Shirinov
Turkey supports and will always support Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu as he addressed the 9th conference of ambassadors in Ankara on January 9.
Cavusoglu noted that Turkey has special ties with the Caucasus region. “Ankara is close to its goals of stability and development of the Caucasus region,” he said, Turkish media reported.
The minister added that Ankara will further defend the rights of kindred peoples abroad.
Turkey became the first state to recognize Azerbaijan, which declared its independence in 1991. Turkey contributes to efforts aimed at the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict within Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and sovereignty through peaceful means.
Azerbaijan and Armenia fought a lengthy war that ended with the signing of a fragile ceasefire in 1994. Since the war, Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.
While the OSCE Minsk Group acted as the only mediator in resolution of the conflict, the occupation of the territory of the sovereign State with its internationally recognized boundaries has been left out of due attention of the international community for years.
Armenia ignores four UN Security Council resolutions on immediate withdrawal from the occupied territory of Azerbaijan, thus keeping tension high in the region.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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